Weekend Project? 1967 Toyota Corona

The Corona was one of Toyota’s longest-running nameplates, in production from 1957 through 2001. For many years it was positioned just below the more luxurious Crown in the Toyota pecking order. It would be one of the earliest models to be exported to the U.S., along with the smaller Corolla. The seller found this 1967 Corona at a charity auction, and it’s been sitting for years. But it looks to be in good shape overall in San Diego, California, and is available here on craigslist for $8,000. Another great tip from Barn Finder T.J.!

Toyota’s first foray into the U.S. was not a success. From 1957-to 61, they called themselves Toyopet before withdrawing from the market to regroup. They came back in 1964 as Toyota and slowly grew thanks in part to the positive reception the Corona received.  Sales reached 20,000 units the year before the seller’s car was imported. The Corona went on score Road Test’s Import Car of the Year Award in 1969.

The seller brought this car home after securing it through a charity. It has just 51,000 miles on the odometer and has been inactive long enough to receive a non-op registration in California, which should help the buyer avoid any latent DMV fees. We’re told the Toyota is complete and shouldn’t be thought of as a major initiaive. It might not take a lot to get the old girl going again.

Rust doesn’t seem to be an issue and the blue paint might respond well to a couple of coats of wax. Other than reattaching the horn ring, the interior may need nothing more than a good cleaning. Under the hood resides a 1,900-cc inline-4 that’s paired to a 4-speed manual transmission, which should be peppy enough for the size of the auto. After a few weekends’ work, this car might be ready to hit the road again, causing folks to ask, “what is that?”


  1. alphasud Member

    Looks just like my parents first car which I thought was a 65 Corona definitely better with the manual transmission and would make a good cruiser if the seller would list at a more realistic price of 4K.

    Like 4
  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    It’s interesting that this never changed a lot before 1972. I can remember the ’71 models because that’s when I bought my HiLux pickup. The dealer was recently franchised and it seemed worth a try. Besides, the salesman sold me my ’69 Chevelle when he worked for the Chevy dealer. Anyways, I’ve already said my piece about what I thought about that sorry excuse for a truck, but my Mom saw a red ’72 Corona and thought it would be such a wonderful car. Mom and Dad bought it and let’s just say that it earned about the same contempt in our family as the HiLux. All that aside, the Corona must have worked out for others as there were lots sold…

    Like 3
    • Fred W

      Wasn’t until the late 70’s-early 80’s that Toyota and Honda decided to build such a high quality car that it would make US makes look like junk, forcing them to build better cars. Early 70’s Toyotas were acceptable but not exceptional. I went Toyota in the late 90’s and that was the last time my daily driver saw a shop, other than oil changes.

  3. nlpnt

    Column shift manual makes this car; only the zenki sedans had that in the US, the kouki ones went to floor shift (a couple years behind Datsun – wonder if that was Mr. K’s doing?) and I’m pretty sure that was the end of LHD manual column shifts from Toyota although they showed up in some RHD export markets into the late ’70s (and indeed later on pickups).

    Like 2
  4. angliagt angliagt Member

    zenki? kouki? ????????

    Like 3
  5. Big C

    Import Car of the Year in 1969? Looks like Toyota was spreading the cash around, even back then!

    Like 3
  6. Pipsisewah

    I’m a little surprised at the bad experience of geomechs above- my dad bought a Corona as a commuter car and drove it into the 80s. He’d have driven it much longer if he hadn’t come off second best in a brief conflict with a forklift.

    Like 2
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Mom’s Corona was equipped with an automatic. She drove it home and parked it in the carport and the next morning we were greeted with a bunch of red spots on the concrete floor. A couple of trips back to the dealership where they attempted to fix it (the second one was a complete teardown and reseal), and they finally determined that the transmission case itself was porous. It took almost a year to get a new case and then another two weeks to get it installed. The leaks were stopped but the dealer told Dad that it was going to cost him $1200.00 (1973 dollars) because the warranty had run out. Dad immediately referred back to “sailor-mode” and said that if had to pay that there would NEVER be another Japanese vehicle on our property. And that’s the way it was.

  7. Steve Clinton

    My dad bought a ’68 Corona in bright red. Let’s just say the color was the only good thing about the car.

    • Steve

      They must a of had Monday morning hangover cars Built in Japan too. I’ve got a 1969 Corona two door in my small collection that runs and handles great for that era of car. Original paint too.

  8. Rick

    Something doesn’t look right with the spark plug wires and the distributor.

    If the engine’s firing order is the less common 1-2-4-3 and the distributor rotates clockwise, the vacuum advance is on the correct side.

    If the firing order is the traditional 1-3-4-2, then the vacuum advance might actually work in a bass-ackward direction and oh, to heck with it all! That’s why all those manuals are on the front seat so the new owner can sort things out.

    Like 1
  9. Steve

    I had four of these back in the 80’s 3 four speeds and one toyoglide. I was in college and while I was away mom had a scrapper come get them. We had ten acres I had them hid in the woods. You couldn’t see them from the house or the road. Today I have an all original including paint 69 four speed. They were all two door hardtops. I think they are rarer than the four door sedans.

  10. Lance Platt

    I would not be interested in this underpowered non running Corona. Would only want an automatic anyway. But this vehicle is a great consumer history lesson. Toyota got their foot in the door with small, economical and affordable imported cars. Then, they did not change the body style every year but worked on making the cars more reliable. The Corolla was added as the price leader. A couple of oil embargos and steadily rising pump prices later, buyers found the combination of affordability and durability just what they needed. The Corona was replaced by the front wheel drive but still underpowered Camry about 1983. The Corolla and Camry grew in size and power and options to fit American tastes with trucks and SUVs as well and the reliability surpassed domestics. From this cute but humble Corona, Toyota came to be a global automotive giant. My oldest son has a Camry and my oldest daughter drives a Corolla and both love the brand.

    Like 2
    • Rick

      I owned a 2002 Toyota Echo and it was a really good little car. Never once failed to start, never left me stranded, had a decent ride and was great on gas mileage.

      Like 2
    • AMCFAN

      This with a manual would so cool. Slam it with a little camber and nice wheels with some +0 offset. Clean it up and leave it alone. It would be quite the ride and would certainly trip up the crowd at any car event.

      Today both Honda and Toyota build the best world class ICE sedan although I prefer the Camry. My Toyota truck has almost 300K miles.

      Like 1
  11. Tim

    I learned how to drive a stick shift in one of these . My dad had a buddy at a Toyota dealership . He drove these till They rusted away . Had a Chrysler New Yorker in the garage . But loved his Toyotas , floor rusted out with bricks under the seat and a 2 x 4 holding the seat from tipping back .

    Like 2
  12. Bob C.

    Toyota made a 4 speed column shift?

  13. Clarke Morris

    I bought a 1965 Toyota Carona with the 3 speed column shift in 1979. The only problem I ever had with it was if I tried to down shift without going to 2nd gear first, the linkage would lock up. I would have to stop, raise the hood and reach down and pull up on the linkage to get it into neutral, then I was ok.

    • Jon.in.Chico

      LOL … had the same problem with a ’63 Chevy Stepside … could be embarrassing at a stop light …

  14. Gary

    Drop 5k off the price and it may be doable. 8k for a non runner Corolla is to much imo.

    Like 1
    • Steveo

      Seller bought it from a charity. You know he must have at least $500 into it. Don’t you want the guy to make at least some profit?

      Like 1
  15. Bamapoppy

    I had a 1967 Corona 2-door, Royal blue with a white vinyl roof, black interior and a 4-speed while in college. Good on gas and a factory 8-track tape player in-dash. It was a great little car! What else could I want?

  16. Bob salz

    Mom bought a 66 in 66. I still have it, 73000 miles and gaining. Show it at Hot August nights. Drives, well, runs but stopping is another thing

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